Annulment in Texas

Divorce Papers » Annulment in Texas

An annulment erases the record of the marriage from the records and it looks like the marriage never happened, ever. Annulment in Texas can be granted on some defined grounds. The husband and the wife have to fulfill those criteria; if not, they need to file for a divorce.

Grounds for Annulment in Texas:

There are some defined grounds which need to be fulfilled by the husband and the wife in order for the marriage to be declared as null or void. The marriage can be void or voidable. These are two different terms in the law of Texas. Thus, we can say that there are two types of grounds for annulment in Texas. These types are:

  • Void Grounds

    There are two void grounds for annulment in Texas. These grounds are as follows:

    • Consanguinity - If the couple encounters the fact that they are closely related by blood or by marriage before getting married to each other, they need to file for an annulment.

    • Bigamy - If a person is already married to another person while getting married to the current spouse, the current spouse can file for an annulment on the basis of bigamy, lies or concealment.

  • Voidable Grounds

    There are number of voidable grounds for annulment in Texas. These grounds are:

    • Underage - If one of the spouses is under the age of 18, his / her parents or guardians can file for an annulment on his / her behalf. This marriage cannot be considered legal as the underage spouse is not considered mature enough to get married and if the age is way less then the legal age limit.

    • Under Influence - If the partners were 'drunk as a skunk' while getting married, they can obtain an annulment on the basis. They have to cite the reason that they were extremely drunk during the wedding and thus the marriage cannot be legalized.

    • Impotency - The inability to consummate the marriage due to a different sexual orientation, drug addiction or any other problems to a spouse can be a firm basis for an annulment of the marriage in Texas.

    • Fraud / Duress / Force - If a spouse married the other spouse by fraud or force, the marriage is considered as null and annulment can be granted on the same basis.

    • Mental Instability - If a partner is mentally unstable and resorts to unreasonable or violent behavior, it can be a firm ground for the marriage to be considered as null and an annulment can be granted.

    • Within 30 days of a granted Divorce Decree - A person cannot go for a second marriage 30 days within the granting of a divorce decree. If he does so, the marriage is considered as null and annulment is granted.

    • Within 72 hours of the Issuance of the marriage License - A couple has to wait for at least 72 hours after the issuance of the marriage license to get married. If the couple violates this rule, the marriage id declared null and annulment is granted.

The petition for annulment is processed immediately after it is filed. There is no waiting period for the same. However, whichever grounds you have cited as a reason for divorce, you need to prove it. For instance, if you claim that that your spouse is mentally instable, you need to provide some documents supporting your claim.

This could be a doctor's certificate or a medical prescription; or if you have mentioned that you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the wedding, you need to prove it. You can do so by contacting the chapel where you got married or the hotel where you stayed or any witness who can testify that you were really drunk during the wedding.

However, you need to file for an annulment 30 days after the wedding date. Anytime after that, you have to file for a divorce.

After the proofs are submitted to the court, the judge cross checks the claims you have made and grants the annulment. If the grounds are not met or the annulment is not approved by the judge, you have to file for a divorce.

The process for annulment is much less time-consuming and costly as compared to the process of divorce. There are certain restrictions on the granting of annulment. The criteria for annulment changes according to the state law for each state. Similarly, Texas has strict laws as to how and why the marriage will be or has to be annulled.

Neither of the spouses are entitled to any alimony or support after the marriage is deemed as non-existent in the eyes of the law. The marriage which involves children can involve only child support, custody and visitation issues.

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